How Do You Teach Your Kid to Wipe His Own Ass?

And other parenting questions, asked and answered

Lindsay Hunter
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readJul 25, 2018

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

OOne of the enduring aspects of motherhood is wanting, badly, to talk to other parents about kid stuff. Do other moms hate going to the park? With a newborn, how/when/how sex? Is it okay if my kid repeatedly jokes that I’m dumb? And on and on.

Recently, I reached out to my parent friends and asked if they had any questions they wanted answered by a fellow parent. These are questions I’ve tortured myself about, and I loved considering my answers. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future column, send it to lindsaydevonhunter@gmail.com. I will answer it as truthfully as I can, with no judgment and lots of love. And then you can decide if it resonates or if it’s poppycock. Because every family should choose for themselves what works best. You know who gets to decide if my kids can watch TV during two out of three daily meals? I do.

Here we go!

Do you feel like it is your duty to fill your kids’ days with activities? To entertain them constantly?

Here’s what I want to say: No! I don’t feel this pressure! My children aren’t paying me, so why should I feel pressured to entertain them?

The truth: Ohmygod I feel this pressure constantly. I was so thrilled to become a mom and so excited when my child was old enough to ask me to chase him, build a tower out of blocks, or hide and giggle together that I seamlessly glided into a lifestyle of having to provide activities, snacks, and butt wiping every single moment that the television isn’t on. My child blasts into my room each morning and demands to know what we’re going to do that day before I’ve even opened both eyes. And I’d better not say something boring like, “Play with your toys and then go for a walk,” because Anthony Fremont will make me pay. He’ll make me pay dearly. By that I mean he will whine in close proximity to my ears and won’t stop until I successfully distract him.

There’s also that underlying seasoning to every parent’s day: guilt. Am I interacting with my children enough? Am I providing adequate opportunities for them to learn, explore, connect? Should I be reading more…

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Lindsay Hunter
Human Parts

Lindsay Hunter is the author of two story collections and two novels, most recently Eat Only When You’re Hungry. She lives in Chicago.